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Articles Tagged with Selling away

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In September, we told you about Morgan Stanley brokers James Polese and 29-year-old Cornelius Peterson, who were found guilty of financial charges ranging from conspiracy to aggravated identity theft. They have both been sentenced in the case.

How to Report Elder Financial Fraud on elderfinancialfraudattorneys.comJames Polese has been sentenced to 60 months (five years) in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy, one count of investment adviser fraud and eight counts of bank fraud as well as a charge of aggravated identity theft. The government originally requested 75 months, and the federal guidelines indicate a minimum sentence of 87 months. Polese’s attorney argued for a shorter sentence of 40 months.

Polese was ordered to pay $462,000 in restitution plus a $30,000 fine. After his release from prison, he will be supervised for three years. He will be restricted from working in financial services, and prohibited from drinking alcohol beyond a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10. The judge recognized Polese’s work towards rehabilitation, which included speaking with two ministers who offered letters of support.

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Mitchell Alan Kurtz (CRD #2437746) is a former registered broker and investment advisor whose last employer was Henley & Company LLC (CRD #131453) of Roslyn Heights, NY. His previous employers are Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (CRD #6694), also of Roslyn Heights, and Advest, Inc. (CRD #10) of Hartford, CT. He has been in the industry since 1994.

FINRA-Permanently-Bars-Barry-Hartman-From-Securities-Activity-for-Alleged-“Selling-Away”-Activities-300x209FINRA recently barred Kurtz “indefinitely,” effective 12/3/2018, after he declined to provide information requested in conjunction with an investigation. He is barred from any association with a FINRA member firm, and signed an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) letter agreeing to the sanctions.

The investigation came after Kurtz was discharged from his last employer, Henley & Company on 7/30/2018. Kurtz violated both FINRA and SEC policies with regards to “outside business activities, selling away, fiduciary duty obligations, violation of professional standards and the Firm’s Code of Ethics.” This discharge led to the FINRA investigation, in which he declined to participate.

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Robin Michelle Wahby (CRD #2107629, aka, Robin Michelle Griswold) is a registered broker and investment advisor currently employed with NYLIFE Securities LLC (CRD #5167) of Jacksonville Beach, FL. She has been with NYLIFE since beginning in the industry in 1990.

FINRA-Permanently-Bars-Barry-Hartman-From-Securities-Activity-for-Alleged-“Selling-Away”-Activities-300x209Wahby has one disclosure in her record, filed on 6/12/018. A client who invested in Future Income Payments, LLC (“FIP”) on Wahby’s recommendation, filed this customer dispute. This investment was supposed to provide the client with a guaranteed fixed amount and protect the client’s investments. However, the client alleges, she has received no income and her funds were no longer available. The client requested damages of $39,460.00 and the case was settled for $40,000.

Future Income Payments and other high yield investments which claim not to be correlated to stock market returns have been the subject of many arbitration claims.  Investors generally do not appreciate the reasons why an investment may not appear on a monthly statement and some stockbrokers may be “selling away” from their firm.

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Ian Greenblatt (CRD #2276966, aka “Eric Green”) is a registered broker currently employed with Capitol Securities Management, Inc. (CRD #14169) of Melville, NY. His previous employers include Capitol Securities & Associates, Inc. (CRD #7278), Westrock Advisors, Inc. (CRD #114338, expelled by FINRA on 1/18/2011), both of Melville, NY and Weatherly Securities Corporation (CRD #11081), of New York, NY.  He has been in the industry since 1992.

FINRA-Permanently-Bars-Barry-Hartman-From-Securities-Activity-for-Alleged-“Selling-Away”-Activities-300x209FINRA recently suspended Greenblatt for 30 days after he attempted to settle a customer complaint away from the firm in March 2016. After two of his customers complained about the firm and the loss of $170,000 from their brokerage account, he failed to discuss this complaint with his firm. Greenblatt visited these customers and gave them $4,000 in cash and a check for $46,000 to their son, who is not a firm customer nor one of Greenblatt’s.

During the meeting, they allegedly discussed re-investing their funds to try and recover the losses they suffered with the firm by depositing the money with CSMI’s clearing firm. Unfortunately, Greenblatt was not able to recover their losses, and the customers filed for arbitration against Greenblatt in August of 2017.

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Dexter Leroy Thomas (CRD #1074222) is a formerly registered broker and investment advisor who was last employed with United Planners’ Financial Services Of America A Limited Partner (CRD #20804) of Dallas, TX. His previous employers include LPL Financial LLC (CRD #6413), National Planning Corporation (CRD #29604) and Invest Financial Corporation (CRD #12984), all of Dallas.  He began in the industry in 1983, and passed away on August 4, 2018.

FINRA-Permanently-Bars-Barry-Hartman-From-Securities-Activity-for-Alleged-“Selling-Away”-Activities-300x209Two days before his death, United Planners discharged Thomas after he revealed to the firm that he had engaged in “selling away,” privately borrowing money and making investment arrangements with several individuals outside of the firm’s auspices. Many of these individuals later became customers of United Planners. Thomas revealed that he conducted these transactions without notifying the firm, and the firm promptly terminated his employment.

The first of a total of fifteen claims was filed on 7/31/2018, just two days before his discharge from United Planners. The last claim was filed on 9/23/2018. These claims alleged either “unsuitable investments” or detailing monies borrowed but not returned without the firm’s knowledge or approval. Of the fifteen claims listed in BrokerCheck, eight request financial damages from $22,000 to $8.1 million, for a total of $9,260,000. These claims are all listed as “pending.”

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My Financial Advisor is Giving Me the Runaround on My Investments, What Are My Rights? on silverlaw.comSilver Law Group is investigating former Pennsylvania-based Metlife Securities Inc. (CRD# 14251), also known as MSI Financial Services, Inc., broker Brian P. Murphy (CRD# 2953503) over allegations that he conducted outside business activities without the permission of his firm.

According to Murphy’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, Signator Investors, Inc. (CRD# 468) terminated Murphy after Murphy allegedly admitted to conducting an unapproved, outside business activity.  FINRA barred Murphy in October 2016 after Murphy failed to respond to a FINRA inquiry.

The discharge follows five other disclosures on his BrokerCheck report.  In 2000, Murphy was permitted to resign from his employing firm. In November 2014, Metlife terminated Murphy after he allegedly represented that he had a professional designation that he had not earned.  In December 2015, a customer dispute alleging misrepresentations of variable annuities was settled for the full amount demanded.

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Silver Law Group is investigating form Palm Bay, Florida-based Ameriprise New York Broker Gregory Flemming Suspended by FINRA on silverlaw.comFinancial Services, Inc. (CRD# 6363) broker William B. Wyman (CRD# 4155621) after allegations that he sold away from his employing firm surface.

According to Wyman’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, FINRA barred Wyman in January 2017 after he failed to request termination of his suspension after his suspension period ended.  Accordingly, FINRA automatically barred him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.

Wyman’s most recent BrokerCheck disclosure is a customer complaint that alleges negligence and that Wyman sold the customer an unapproved investment outside the brokerage firm.  The complaint alleges almost $100,000 in damages.

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Michigan-based Broker Merid Amde Suspended and Fined $20,000 By FINRA on silverlaw.comSilver Law Group is investigating former Pennsylvania-based Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (CRD# 6694) Jeffrey S. Ingros (CRD# 2091822) after FINRA permanently barred him.

The most recent trouble with Ingros came in February 2016 when Raymond James permitted Ingros to resign after Ingros disclosed to the firm that he accepted loans from customers without prior written approval from the firm and failed to disclose those loans on the firm’s annual compliance attestations, according to his FINRA BrokerCheck report.

Not even a month later, Ingros entered into an Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (“AWC”) consenting to sanctions and the entry of findings that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA during its investigation into the aforementioned allegations as well as allegations that he engaged in outside business activities.  FINRA permanently barred Ingros for his failure to appear.

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Silver Law Group is investigation former Tennessee-based Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. broker David A. Ross (CRD# 3021782) for allegedly failing to disclose an outside business activity and accepting loans from firm clients.

According to Ross’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, Woodbury Financial Services (CRD# 421) discharged Ross in April 2016 for the allegations listed above as well as other undisclosed firm violations.

Ross has seven other disclosures on his FINRA BrokerCheck report.  Of those other seven, six of them are tax liens totaling over $250,000.

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Silver Law Group is investigating former Deerfield, Illinois-based Morgan Stanley Smith Barney broker Brian C. Sak (CRD# 3259830) after he was terminated for allegations that he placed customers in unapproved investments.

According to Sak’s FINRA BrokerCheck Report, he was terminated on May 17, 2016 by Morgan Stanley (CRD# 149777) due to concerns related to outside real estate investments with a client that was not appropriately disclosed to Morgan Stanley.

Additionally, Sak’s has two other disclosures in the form of FINRA arbitrations.  The FINRA arbitrations, like Morgan Stanley, allege that Sak recommended investing in outside real estate investment opportunities.  In total, the two FINRA arbitrations allege $600,000 in damages.

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